Testing… Testing….

It’s been so long that I had forgotten how to log on and edit my website.  But so much is happening, and maybe I’ve started nesting, because I suddenly feel compelled to write an update.

So we are expecting a baby on the 12th of October!  Any day now…  It’s been a rough pregnancy, with terrible morning sickness for the first 20 weeks.

I was desperate to know the gender, so at 9 weeks took a blood test which supposedly gives you accurate gender results (95% accurate).  The results revealed I was having a boy.  Full disclosure- I was disappointed, and spent the ensuing weeks planning a fifth child- my longed for daughter.  But there will be no more children, as at the 20 week scan, it showed a girl!  I’ve since had two more gender ultrasounds, and the harmony blood test, to confirm it is indeed a girl.

Because we like a challenge, we are moving house tomorrow to temporary digs, whilst we rebuild on our existing block.   The house we’re moving into is not pretty.  In fact, a relative recently purchased the house with the intent of demolishing it.  It is not even worthy of being renovated.

But it is in an excellent location, close to cafes, school and where we are building.  And it is better than my husband’s alternative to buy another property to move into whilst building, with the hopes to develop it and gain tax advantages through it being a principal place of residence.  Because another building project is exactly what you want to tackle when you have a new baby and are building your ‘forever’ home.

Anyway, the move seems under control.  We’ve moved much of our furniture into a storage facility, and will be taking just the basics to the temporary house.  The removalists will be here at 7am tomorrow morning for furniture, but we’ve already started moving/ unpacking boxes.  Am being guided by konmari in decluttering, which is also making the move manageable.

I’m going to have to leave it there for now, as I have to clean the refrigerator and email the gender test company for a refund.

I hope you are well.  Have missed you. x

New Year 2016

Who let these boys stay up to watch the midnight fireworks on New Years???

2016 passed out

They were crazy!  Running around wearing glow caps like they were at a rave party.

2016 fireworks and boys

2016 fireworks iv

Where did they get the idea that this was okay?

`2016 glow sticks and Germans

2016 C and F

2016 fireworks

And where was their mother while all this was happening?

2016 photo booth

I wore the Camilla Beach House number that just keeps on giving.Camilla beach house

Remember when he fit in here?

camilla tube dress

And remember when there were only 2 boys on this couch circa 2012?

easter iii matchingScreen Shot 2016-01-04 at 9.18.09 AM

So far 2016 is looking good.

2016 baby floating2016 twister

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 7.45.02 AM

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 7.46.01 AM

And we even managed to get a family photo!Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 8.00.40 AM

 I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2016 xox

Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day 2015

Merry Christmas my dear friends!

I do love to sticky beak into how people spend their Christmases.  I’ll go first.

I don’t care what Claridges do with their tree (although you are right Naomi, this year’s burberry umbrella theme was disappointing), my favourite Christmas tree will always be Grandads, with 225 degree views of The Range.

Christmas tree grandads

If you stand at the right angle at night, you can see 8 Christmas trees reflecting off the windows.

Christmas eve tree night

Christmas tree grandads night

The perfect backdrop for Christmas Eve carols.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 9.01.35 AM

And Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas grandads

Start with 2 kilos of prawns…

Christmas prawns

Click your fingers and…

Christmas eve prawn cocktail

(just pretend the the entree fork is straight)

I feel we are close enough by now for me to share with you what my husband gave me for Christmas.  My sweet husband.  Now believe me, he is a kind, thoughtful man, who I love dearly…. but he brought me 10 Personal Training Sessions!!!  I laughed … and I laughed… and then I cried.  I haven’t exercised in 6 years, and I had no intentions of starting anytime soon.

My exercise plan had involved wearing stretchy dresses, like this one from Asos, and Spanx.

Christmas eve outfit iiiChristmas eve outfit

pre-xmas shoes sergio rossi

Christmas cuddles

(Here’s what it looked like when I was 5 kilos lighter- the good old days, when I could wear an ankle strap and get away with it)mitty asos and choos

But, glass half full- knowing I had all those personal training sessions, I indulged on Christmas Day…

Christmas ham ii

Christmas cake ii

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 9.36.31 AM

And look who’s started walking in time for Christmas?

christmas walkingChristmas H

(will somebody please put some pants on that child?!)

My eldest was given a walkie talkie for Christmas and is so excited as he can use it with his cousin, who lives 1 kilometre away from our new house!

Boxing day test match…

Christmas boxing day cricket

Christmas boxing day cricket ii

And swimming..

Christmas boxing day swimming

And Bugs…

Christmas boxing day moreton bay bugs cocktail

And that was our Christmas 2015.  Somewhere in the middle of all that, we moved into our new house, removed the 50 year old carpets, nails and staples, unpacked and cleaned the old house.

So what did you get up to?

One year old, camping and moving!

Now where were we?

This young man turned 1 earlier in the month. He was baptised as part of the celebrations.

first birthday cake

first birthday christening

first birthday hamburgers

Remember when he fit in here?

3 halloween costumes Now look at him!fraser h pumpkinfirst birthday bubblesfraser h and bubles iifraser h and bubbles

He has been an absolute joy. His hobbies include feeding himself, feeding me, watching himself on the iPhone, climbing everything, throwing/chasing balls and putting hats and shirts on his head.  He does not like sitting in high chairs (prefers to stand), rafferties packet foods or keeping a hat on his head.

In holiday news, we went camping at Fraser Island last week.

fraser island lake mckenzie ii

fraser island lake mckenzie

fraser killer whale

fraser champagne falls

fraser island boys

fraser 4WD

I was living the dream, floating on an inflatable killer whale down Eli Creek, the envy of all backpackers who had a measly volleyball, and all the Japanese tourists who marvelled at my porcelain skin.   I think I was the whitest person on the island.  There might have been one other white person, but they were hiding under a full body rashie underneath a beach tent somewhere.

But there’s only so much glamping you can do when you have 4 children (aged 6,5,4 and 1) in tow.  My sister had organised blow up mattresses, a tent light/fan contraption and cold coke zero, but she was helpless when half the sleeping equipment fell off the roof as high tide was approaching.  So there I was in my Camilla Kaftan and Jimmy Choos buried under mattresses, sleeping bags and a blown up killer whale, praying that the tent would stay on the roof and that we would not get bogged/ flip over.  It was not glamorous.

My husband was paranoid about the dingos, but we only saw one from a distance the whole time we were there.  I grew up visiting Fraser Island and remember dingos being a constant, but the electric fences seem to have minimised the risk.  If you want a guaranteed sighting of a Wild Dingo, you will have to try the cocktail at Kingfisher Bay resort.

fraser island wild dingo

I saw someone propose yesterday!

fraser marryfraser marry mefraser marry meAlso congratulations to my dear friend Monika Radulovic (okay so I only met her once…. and it was brief) who made the top 5 in the Miss Universe contest!  She can talk world peace as she escaped from war torn Bosnia as a child.  Here she is below at a high tea function wearing her tiara with $200,000 ‘hearts on fire’ diamonds.

fire and ice miss universe

We move to Toowoomba in 2 days.

ice-cream new house view

Which gives me one day to set up for Christmas.

In case I don’t have the internet connected, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

xox

Feeder etc.

We have already established that I’m a Feeder.  So given my husband’s late mother was American, we’ve adopted Thanksgiving with great excitement.  I take great pleasure in feeding my guests turkey, pie, and all the calories that scream Thanksgiving success.

It might be 32 degrees and humid, but I am committed.

thanksgiving table

thanksgiving pie

We never did catch that Superbutcher Turkey thief that tried to sabotage our 2013 Thanksgiving. I know better now- I daren’t leave it to the last minute- made sure I had this one a week before.  Plenty of time to marinade in citrus brine goodness.

thanksgiving turkey

Also, this year I made sure to serve the walnut and sage stuffing that I made but forgot to serve in the Great 2014 turkey debacle. Woolworth’s was out of fresh sage, so Forgive me Father, but I used dried sage.  Nobody was any the wiser.

I am mindful of making my meals look homemade- I would hate to be accused of outsourcing a pumpkin pie.

thanksgiving pie base

In my opinion, Australians do not eat enough Turkey.  It is so easy and one of the leanest meats available. Just cover in Aluminium foil, cook at 180 degrees for 40 mins per kilogram, and baste in 100 grams of butter every 30 mins.  Imagine all those cranberry, camembert, turkey sandwiches you could have for the remainder of the week.

Jacaranda season is my favourite time of the year.  Sadly, the season has almost ended.  And all that is left are these photos.

thanksgiving jacarandathanksgiving jacaranda tree ii

I wasn’t able to fully appreciate them this year on account of being stressed with my teaching prac placement.  It is over now, and according to the Queensland College of Teachers, I am registered!!!!  It was a test, but I made it!

Mums and Dads of school aged children, hug your teachers- tight- squeeze them.  Know that they were probably up till 12 am planning lessons for your darlings.  They probably spent 20 minutes trying to justify why your child should be awarded an +/- in a subject area.   Know that they stayed up the night before coming up with a worthy recipient for the student of the week award for school parade.

It was a tough 6 weeks, but I had a class of absolute darlings. Wouldn’t have swapped any one of them.

Thank goodness for C, our German au pair.  She was an absolute trooper, helping out wherever she could.   She is practically a super model, which everyone keeps reminding me.  These are exactly the words you want to hear about your au pair…

In sports news, my 3 year old turned 4.  He celebrated with a rugby themed party.

thanksgiving 4th birthday

He is obsessed with sports.  One day he will be a famous tennis player, rugby player and soccer player, as well as a policeman.  He will be very busy.

Here is his rugby cake.  Another chance to feed people!

thanksgiving birthday cake

I dressed up as a cheerleader.  Will spare you the photos.

I plan on visiting here more regularly.  I have so many exciting things to share. Let’s keep in touch. x

It’s been a while…

Where do I start?

I have a new German au pair named C.  Apart from being stunning, she is a dream au pair and she is fitting in very nicely.  And she bakes amazing treats, so we get along very well.

baked goods

The other big news story is we are moving to Toowoomba, as my husband will be working from there full time as of next year.  Because I love and care for my husband, I wanted to help minimise his commute- so I started researching prices of second hand helicopters.  But alas, it wasn’t to be.  They are too expensive to maintain and operate, and besides my husband doesn’t even have a helicopter license.

We’ve already brought a house. It’s a bit of a fixer upper.

fixer upperfixer upper ii

One day it will look something like this.

new house

new house ii

With these views.ice-cream view ice-cream new house view ice-cream camelia ice-cream new house

So many special occasions have passed.  My baby turned 5.

ice-cream cake
My husband and I also celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.  I wore the dress I wore for our engagement party all those years ago. My mother practically had to sew me in it – she kept suggesting I wear something else.  Ha! Here I am standing at a clever angle to make me look 5kgs lighter.

anniversary 6th

We celebrated by seeing the movie Straight Outta Compton at Gold Class Cinemas.  The movie was fine, but the signature sundae was 5 stars.

Finally, last weekend it was my husband’s 34th birthday, which we celebrated with our annual B Cup.  This year was the American Cup theme (32 was Wimbledon, and 33 was French).  My husband was extra competitive, and didn’t want guests to come if they weren’t going to participate in the tournament.

american cup

american cup hotdogs

american cup ben and jerries ice-cream

american cup cake

Here we are wearing our matching outfits- role modelling for our boys who I expect to dress identically at times. american cup outfits

Anyway, my husband finally won the tournament, and will get his name engraved on the B Cup!

Hope everyone is enjoying the school holidays x

New babies etc

So much has happened since we last caught up.  Welcome to the world niece M!

hospital baby m ii

hospital newborn

And welcome C!

hospital baby c

babies

hospital flowers iii

hospital flowers

They were born days apart in the same hospital as my Dad is in, whilst he recovers from his stroke.  So I’ve been busy doing ward rounds.

We have visited the girls a few times, but since I care so much about them, we are mostly staying away!  With three young boys, we are hardly a calming presence.

hospital newborn m and h

hospital home newborns

To think H was a newborn 6 months ago.

hospital baby h bubbles

Now he is crawling, and pulling himself up.  He is still as delightful as ever and I am still smitten.

Went to the Red Rose Fund’s annual gala the other night.  This year’s charity was the pyjama foundation, where pyjama angels spend an hour a week reading to a foster child.  The theme was Once Upon a Time and it was held at Gabbinbar homestead in Toowoomba.

red rose fund venue ii

red rose fund venue

red rose fund ferris wheel

red rose fund centrepiece

red rose fund dessert

red rose fund ball room

I wore the Camilla dress with my Game of Thrones bolero (still grieving the loss of Jon Snow).

red rose fund outfitred rose fund shoes

They went high-tech this year and had an online auction component.  I think my husband won some Broncos tickets.

Another big change for us is the return of J (our au pair) to Germany.  I think she deserves her own post (one day I will write one).  But for the record, I love her and am forever indebted. She was a Mary Poppins- structured, organised, reliable, warm, generous, fair.

Here we are doing the discover Brisbane bus tour on one of her last nights.

hospital beanies

discover brisbane
discover brisbane ii

Servus J!

My baby boy turned 5 yesterday, but I’m leaving the details for another post.  Already so many big news stories.  To be continued….

Winner

Have you ever been at a multiple prize draw, where an annoying person seems to win everything?  Yesterday, that was me!!!!  I won 3 of the 20ish prizes at a school fete.  I’d left  before the winners were announced, but my sister in law was there to collect my prizes.  Apparently, people were accusing the raffle of being rigged. Ha! The cheek.  Lucky I wasn’t there or I would have been squealing, and high fiving everyone and running victory laps!!!  I’m so excited, I may as well have won first prize in lotto. So these Adirondack chairs are mine..fete adirondack chairsAnd so is this esky full of coronas…

fete esky

And the ‘Dad’s pick’ prize with chainsaw and truck driving lessons!fete dads bookPinch me!

Speaking of lessons, I went surfing last week. You must try it.  Make sure you have a wet suit.  And avoid being in a group with 20 something year old co-ordinated Swiss boys.  I was a bedraggled mess, but I loved every minute of it.  Especially at the beginning when it seemed doable.  I barely stood for a few seconds, but as the surf instructor reminded me, the most important part was that I enjoyed it :)

surf

Still waiting on these babies.  At least one will come tomorrow.

shingle inn pregnant

baby shower coconut icebaby shower rock pops ii

Dad’s getting better.  He’s just lost a few words which is slightly frustrating for him.

So have you ever surfed?  Won any prizes lately? Chat soon x

Happy Mothers day etc.

Happy Mothers Day!!!

shingle inn flowers

shingle inn mothers day family

shingle inn mothers day
I had a lovely day with the boys.  The highlight was a ‘concert’ they performed at night.  Summersaults, Lion King songs, tickets they’d had their father forge etc. My favourite Mother’s Day yet. Felt very blessed.

My best friend will be having a baby on Monday. Expect that I’ll be visiting her and my sister in hospital at the same time!!!

shingle inn pregnant

We had an afternoon tea at Shingle Inn in the Town Hall to celebrate

- the oldest cafe in Brisbane (they have fitted the Town Hall with the original cafe).

Food was ordinary, but friends and atmosphere were A+++. 
shingle inn high tea

I finally had cause to wear my Game of Thrones balero.

shingle inn outfit ii

shingle inn outfit

The Brisbane Mayor sat in a booth at the back.  These two did not care.  They disgraced themselves, rolling around the floor as though they were at a kindy gym.  Youngsters these days..

shingle inn cute babies

I will be visiting my father in hospital at the same time as the newborns.  Sadly, he had a minor stroke last week (the expressive area of his brain was effected).  He seems to be making a speedy recovery. At 82, he’s already had 9 lives.  He broke his neck 15 years ago, has had several knee/hip replacements, heart stints etc.  No doubt he’ll be riding horses and flying planes again in no time.

shingle inn grandad

Had a teddy bears picnic with the kindy on the weekend.  Those kindy mums sure know how to bake.

shingle inn teddy bears picnic teddt
shingle inn teddy bears picnic food shingle inn teddy bears picnic shingle inn breakfast

Were you spoilt on Mothers Day? Did you ever make concerts for your parents when you were growing up?  Ever have reason to visit multiple people in the hospital at the same time?  Take care x

Baby shower and Anzac day

So it was my sister’s baby shower on the weekend. It’s a miracle she managed to get pregnant, being gay and all.  But divine intervention!  Another miracle? It’s a girl!  Sugar and spice and all things nice.

I am a Feeder.  I love to feed people.  So there was a lot of baking.

k baby shower

baby shower lolly pops

baby shower coconut ice

baby shower marshmallows

baby shower white rocky road

baby shower champagne flutes

baby shower sweets

baby shower pom poms

baby shower champage

baby shower champagne

Also had divine sandwiches and quiches.  Must share the recipes some time.

Here’s my sister with her 37 week bump (she’s the one on the right).

baby shower sister photosI wore a $40 Tar-ssoni dress (missoni for Target). 

Speaking of dresses, so many adorable options for baby girls:

pink dress

I did not manage to attend the Anzac parade last week, as I was at a kindy event, but I did take along some homemade Anzac biscuits.

anzac biscuits mine

So did K (the Dr who performed my last pap smear before I realised she was my son’s  friend’s mother).  Apparently, she used the same recipe as me.  I think my measurements must have been off, because these were hers.  anzac biscuits k

My grandfather Jack fought in the First World War (my father was 48 when I was born).  According to the national archives, Jack was 19 years and 7 months when he enlisted.  He fought on the Western Front and had lifelong issues after being gassed.  Will have to find out more details from my father.

Here’s my nephew wearing Jack’s medals to his local Anzac day parade.

anzac medalsOn the domestic front, I cannot sew, and handed in my twins tracksuit pants in year 8 home economics (after she’d been graded for them- we were in the same class) in order to pass.  If only my year 8 home economic teacher could see me now:

anzac diy jeans

Distressed them myself.  I tried the grater approach, but had more succes pulling threads with tweezers perpendicular to two cuts in the jeans.

anzac jeans diy

anzac shoe ii

anzac crawling

Any news from your end?

P.S.  So excited about our new princess!

x